Owen Pendragon by W S Markendale
|Owen Pendragon by W S Markendale|
|Reviewer: Ani Johnson|
|Summary: An adventure that crosses the gender divide taking in a princess or two, dragons, trolls, the Camelot mythology and the odd dinosaur in a race to save Earth and an interplanetary alliance.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 334||Date: December 2016|
Monsters are slipping through somehow from somewhere to kidnap children in Cornwall and the army seems powerless to do anything about it. 12-year-olds Owen and Mary assume they too are therefore powerless as they watch friends and neighbours disappear. Imagine their surprise when they realise that thanks to an ancient relative, they have more influence on what happens than they think and not just on what happens on Earth. And their distant relative? The former monarch and head of the round table, no less: King Arthur.
The Camelot/Arthurian legends have attracted much attention and writing over the centuries. Now British writer W S Markendale (Wayne to his friends) has thrown his hat into the subject ring and with an ingeniously interesting twist.
Not only does this new YA novel link two modern children with Arthur's lineage, he leaves a wider heritage. Wayne's Arthur is still a past king of Albion. However, to Owen and Mary's shock, Albion isn't a romantic name for England but an interplanetary alliance that's lost its way a little since its leader left them. No need for anyone to worry now that Owen and Mary are here… plenty of cause for Owen and Mary to worry though!
Wayne has ensured that our young heroes' problems are sure-fire excitement triggers no matter what gender we readers happen to be. The start may clunk a little while the scene is being set but that's soon forgotten when the action kicks in to full throttle and up to something-for-everyone mode.
As Owen, Mary and their seemingly vast entourage of friends and guardians cross interplanetary bridges, they mix with fae royalty (that's the princess category ticked!) and dragons while fighting monsters, trolls and even the odd dinosaur not to mention an evil baron who's right up there with the child-catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, although a little less scary. (Phew!)
Wayne has indeed let his imagination roam free, linking such subjects as the Bermuda Triangle and a refreshing view on the Round Table Knights themselves. His imagination also extends to other areas… names for instance.
Yes, you can tell that this is an author who has fun picking names! From the wonderfully entitled Baron Atedies Jurworan Elgridge to Gilwippiebombom (a dragon caller whose moniker was bouncing around my head for days), smiles and tongue-twisters provide light relief from the thrills and the excitement. Although if you're a traditionalist who just wants a dragon called Snowy, your wish is Wayne's desire.
This is classed as a YA novel and has an 11+ year-old's (non-colourful) vocabulary but would be just as enjoyable read to 8 and 9 year olds. (Having said that, a little bit of the monster content may rule out bedtime reading for the more sensitive youngsters.)
This is a novel aimed to capture a wide audience in its spell while igniting an interest in the 'Once and Future King' that could last a lifetime and, speaking as someone with an Arthurian fascination myself, that's not a bad thing.
(We'd like to thank the publisher for providing us with a copy for review.)
Further Reading: If this appeals, we also recommend Queen Guinevere and Other Stories from the Court of King Arthur by Mary Hoffman and Christina Balit to continue the Arthur theme. If you're in the traditional teen age group and would prefer another monster/sci-fi then it's The X-Files Origins: Agent of Chaos by Kami Garcia.
You can read more book reviews or buy Owen Pendragon by W S Markendale at Amazon.co.uk.
You can read more book reviews or buy Owen Pendragon by W S Markendale at Amazon.com.
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